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Cluj-Napoca (mostly referred as Cluj by Romanians) is the capital of Cluj county and one of Romania's largest cities, being home to over 300000 people.
The name Cluj comes from "Castrum Clus", a name used in the 12th century for the medieval citadel. "Clus" in Latin means "closed".
The city was called Kolozsvar from 1600 to 1918. Afterwards it was known as Cluj until 1974. That year the name changed to Cluj-Napoca in order to reflect both its antique and medieval name.
Cluj is one of the main economic centers in Romania and many important companies reside here such as the Ursus beer maker, Banca Transilvania or UPC-Astral (major ISP). The IT sector is well represented as well, the city being home to over 100 software companies and two universities that feed those companies with quality engineers.
The city is located in northwestern Romania, 350 km northwest of Bucharest, in the Somesul Mic ("Small Somes", a river) valley.
Getting to & around
Cluj-Napoca is easily accessible given that it's one of Romania's major cities.
One of the easiest ways to reach the city is by train, Cluj being linked with most other Romanian cities. Fast InterCity links are always available with Bucharest, Brasov, Arad, Oradea, Timisioara or Sighisoara.
The International Someseni Airport in Cluj-Napoca is the country's third largest in traffic (as of summer 2006) after Bucharest's "Henri Coanda" and Timisoara's International Airport and is offering flights to Bucharest and Timisoara in Romania as well as major European destinations such as Milano, Vienna, Frankfurt, Bologna, Florence, Munich, Rome etc. The main carriers operating on Someseni Airport are TAROM, Austrian Airlines, Carpatair and Alitalia.
Works are under way at the Transylvania highway linking Bors, at the Hungarian border, with Brasov through Cluj-Napoca. It should be done by 2013 so you'll have to satisfy yourself by then with the current network of European, national and county roads that connects Cluj with the rest of the country.
You can rent a car through Avis' or Hertz's local offices as well as from other local providers. You may also want to check our Romania car rental page for online reservations.
You may want to inlcude the following into your "to see" list:
- The Unirii Square with the Matei Corvin Statue (Matthias Corvinus) as well as the St. Michael Church - located in the middle of the city. The area surrounding the Unirii Square is home to other major attractions such as the Banffy and Teleki (now hosting the National Art Museum) Palaces, the first Unitarian church worldwide, the Mirror street, the Franciscan monastery and Matei Corvin's birth place home of the Visual Arts Academy and formerly a 15th century hotel;
- The Avram Iancu Square with the Avram Iancu Statue, the Orthodox Cathedral and the National Theathre;
- The Botanical Garden;
- The Cetatuia - wonderful citiwide panorama;
- The Central Park;
- The Lucian Blaga Square - home of the University Library;
- The University Street ("Strada Universitatii") - host of the Reformed Church and the Babes-Bolyai University;
- The Mihai Viteazul Square - enhanced with a Mihai Viteazul Statue;
- The "Hazsongard" Cemetery - from the 16th century;
- Several other museums.
Please visit our page of Cluj hotels to get further information on Cluj accommodation or to comment or rate a specific hotel.
Cluj-Napoca is home of two important football teams named Universitatea Cluj-Napoca and CFR Cluj. On a historical basis, Universitatea Cluj-Napoca, despite now playing in the second division, is the more important of the two teams, having played for decades in the Romanian top division and the most popular team in town. CFR Cluj is trying to catch up though and they've been quite successful at that, playing and having achieved respectable positions in the Romanian top division as well as being finalists in the Intertoto Cup in 2005.
Another notable team is the "U" Jolidon Cluj-Napoca female handball team.